The Chase Bank building in Ponte Vedra Beach is also home to our Keller Williams Luxury International office at 190 A1A North where recently solar panels were installed on the roof. The same week a customer asked us about the new Tesla roof (which I never heard of) and suggestions for solar panel company. Later that week as chance would have it, I met a lovely couple, Josh and Siobhan, who own a solar panel company. With all these solar panel coincidences I felt like solar energy had to be a hot topic and I was curious. I chatted with Josh Moore and Siobhan Christman of Masterpiece Solar for quite a while and connected to go over some frequently asked questions on solar energy that even I was curious about and maybe you are too!
Meet Josh and Siobhan of Masterpiece Solar
Masterpiece Solar was founded in January of 2019 (we are turning 3!). For the first few months, we were primarily an aerial (drone) videography company. Through this drone work, we were hired to do some solar roof surveys. It was then that we saw the potential of solar and switched our focus.
Our backgrounds are perfectly suited for the solar industry: Siobhan has had an incredible career working in the green energy sector as a regional trainer at Tesla, and I have a Masters Degree in Astrophysics. We quickly realized that this was the industry for us. We now get to use our skillsets to work with homeowners and business owners to help them switch to solar, increase their property value, decrease their environmental impact, and save huge amounts on energy costs.
What are the advantages of solar power?
The number one advantage is dramatically reducing your energy costs. Utility companies continually raise their rates. By going solar, you create your own energy (instead of renting theirs), for much less money. The other main benefits are reducing your carbon footprint and increasing the value of your property.
How much does it cost for install, etc?
This totally depends on your energy demand. Simply put, the more energy you use, the more panels you need. However, when we finance a project, we are working within your existing budget and we can often get the monthly payment to be less than your current power bill! Imagine switching a $300 light bill (that creeps up at 3% a year) for a $280 solar bill that stays fixed – until you pay it off and it goes to $0.
What are my out of pocket expenses?
All of our financing requires $0 down and nothing out of pocket.
Will I own it?
Yes! You own the panels and the whole system. They are designed to keep producing energy for you for 50+ years.
Are there any tax credits?
There is currently a federal tax credit. For 2022, it is set at 26% of the cost of your project. That means, whatever the cost of your project, you will receive tax relief for 26% of that number! There is uncertainty over the tax credit in 2023. Which means right now is the best time to take advantage of it.
Can solar panels survive a hurricane?
Absolutely. Panels are tested at up to 210 mph winds (a strong cat 5 hurricane). The real question is – can your roof survive a hurricane? Because the panels will be fine.
Will they be covered under my home insurance policy if damaged?
“Acts of God” are covered under home insurance (e.g. a tree falls and damages them). However, we provide a 30 year warranty to cover everything we touch.
Can they power my entire home?
As long as you have a suitable roof, we can certainly include enough panels to power your entire home. We can even pre-plan for future energy demand increases – you can treat yourself to that new Tesla without a worry.
Can solar power be stored?
Solar energy can be stored in battery systems. Whilst they are not necessary to have a great solar system, they do provide additional benefits like blackout protection.
How will solar power save me money?
Solar saves money by locking in low energy rates. For example, in December 2021, JEA increased their rates from $0.12 per kWh to $0.13 (an 8.3% increase to your bill). Solar energy can lock in energy rates at $0.09 per kWh, forever.
Is my electricity bill high enough to justify going solar?
Even a $70 bill is worth switching to solar! Any spend on energy can be reduced. The size (and cost) of the system is proportional to the size of your energy bill, after all.
Will adding solar panels void my roof warranty?
This is determined on a case by case basis. Some roof warranties are voided, some are voided in the area the panel are installed, and some are unaffected. Roof warranties typically only last 5-10 years. However, we always include a 30-year over the top warranty. Our warranty includes parts and labor, has no deductible, and covers all roof penetrations.
How long will my solar panels last and what is the warranty?
There are two warranties on our systems. The 25 year manufacturer warranty, and our over the top 30 year warranty. However the panels will last a lot longer. There are panels out there installed in the 1960s that are still operational today!
If you are interested in learning more, or would like a free home energy survey you can reach out to Josh and Siobhan with Masterpiece Solar here: https://www.masterpiece-lifestyles.com/contact/
Note: In digging through some online statistics I found that in the state of Florida more than 60,000 homes and business are using solar power right now. That also includes billboards throughout the state. What are your thoughts on solar power energy and would you consider putting solar panels on your home as well? We want to know. Let us here from you in the blog comments.
Jenn Heller is the Operations Manager for The Volen Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, with over 18 years experience in Real Estate. She is an Atlantic Beach resident via Long Island, NY since 1991, a beach lover and avid fitness enthusiast.